On Top of Old Smokey parodies

You know what? I couldn't POSSIBLY tell you the third line of "On Top of Old Smokey," let alone the second verse, and I would imagine that most other people my age or younger couldn't, either. But everyone knows this:

On top of spaghetti
all covered with cheese
I lost my poor meatball
when somebody sneezed
it rolled out the table
it rolled down the floor
and last time I saw it
it went out the door.


I used to sing that to the tune of "Chariots of Fire." It works.

Anyway, there are many more verses in some versions, but I don't really believe this is a "kids song." It was recorded by folk singer Tom Glazer back in 1963, and is pretty clearly an adult-written tune that was taught to kids. If kids had written it , it would have been dirtier or more violent.

For instance, here's a version that's been going around since at least 1972, according to Sherman (whose book is in the sidebar on the right):

On top of old smokey
all covered with blood
I shot my poor teacher
with a 44 slug
I went to her funeral
I went to her grave
everybody threw flowers
I threw a grenade


An alternate ending:
I shot her with pleasure,
I shot her with pride
I couldn't have missed her
she was forty feet wide


The first line of that version is "On Top of Spaghetti" at least as often as it's "On top of old smokey" nowadays. The parody has overtaken the original so thoroughly that I don't think many kids even realize "On Top of Spaghetti" is a parody of anything.

A 1950s version collected by Sherman:

On top of old smokey,
all covered with snow
I saw Roy Rogers
screw Marilyn Monroe

He took off his pants and
hung them on a stick
she said oh you have
such a big (pause) horse.

He said "Oh gosh, ma'am
you sure do look pretty"
he laid down beside her
and played with her (pause) toes.


THe contributor to Sherman's book couldn't remember (or wouldn't admit) a fourth verse, but knew there was one.

Which ones did YOU sing?

58 comments:

  1. We had a third verse for the teacher song (London, ON, circa 1980-83) which went:

    When I opened her coffin
    She wasn't quite dead
    So I took a bazooka
    And blew off her head.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Charlotte, NC, circa mid-1980s:

    On top of old smokey
    All covered with sand
    I shot my poor teacher
    with a red rubber band

    I shot her with glory
    I shot her with cheer
    because she was drinking
    my Budweiser beer

    ReplyDelete
  3. On top of a mountain
    all covered with sand
    I shot my poor teacher
    with a red rubber band

    I shot her with happiness
    I shot her with pride
    I couldn't have missed her,
    she's forty feet wide

    I went to her funeral
    I went to her grave
    When people threw flowers,
    I threw a hand grenade.

    It blew up the city
    It blew up the town
    It blew my poor teacher
    Straight out of the ground.

    ReplyDelete
  4. SilverSpring80s's last verse was also sung by me, in Massachusetts in the 1990s.

    ReplyDelete
  5. on top of a mountain all covered with sand,
    i shot my poor teacher with a red rubber band,
    she rolled off the mountain and unto the ground, and then (something something i cant recall),

    i went to her funeral,
    i walked pass her grave,
    some people threw flowers,
    i threw hand grenades,

    her body went up,
    her body came down,
    her body went splat,
    all over the ground,

    but to my great horror,
    she wasnt quite dead,
    so i took a bazooka,
    and blasted her head.

    ReplyDelete
  6. On top of a mountain,
    all covered in blood,
    I shot poor 'ol Barney,
    with a 44 slug.

    But then big 'ol Barney,
    just still wasn't dead.
    So with a bazooka,
    I shot of his head.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Never heard this Barney one. Onlly Barney I know is;
      I hate you
      You hate me
      I shot Barney's family
      With an M16 and a bullet through his head
      Aren't you glad that Barney's dead!

      Delete
  7. I heard this from one of my friends:


    On top of the school bus,
    All covered in blood,
    I shot down poor Barney,
    With a 44 slug.

    I went to his funeral,
    I went to his grave,
    Everybody threw flowers,
    I threw a grenade.

    Then 20 years later,
    He rose from the dead,
    He cut off my finger,
    So I cut off his head.

    ReplyDelete
  8. heard this one from a friend

    on top of the mountain,
    all covered in blood,
    because i killed barney,
    with my 44 slug
    i went o his funeral,
    and then to his grave,
    instead of some flowers,
    i threw a grenade
    he woke up and chased me,
    i thought he was dead,
    so i got my bazooka, and blew of his head,
    he rolled down the mountain,
    and into a ditch
    and right there he told me
    you son of a *****

    ReplyDelete
  9. @ jorge, yea when i was in elementary school, we used to say that :/

    except it differed a bit:

    On top of spaghetti,
    all covered with blood,
    I shot poor barney,
    with my 4 inch gun
    I went to his funeral,
    I went to his grave,
    some people threw flowers,
    but i threw a grenade

    and then it ends with yours, but we stopped after we blew of his head...

    ReplyDelete
  10. Mine is basically the one in the original post, but ".44 slug" is changed to ".52 slug" (it does flow better to my ears although it's a nonexistent caliber) and the last verse is included:

    On top of old smokey
    all covered with blood
    I shot my poor teacher
    with a .52 slug

    I went to her funeral
    I went to her grave
    Some people threw flowers
    I threw a grenade

    It blew up the city
    It blew up the town
    It blew my poor teacher
    Right out of the ground

    Source: Northern Virginia, early-to-mid '90s. The form invites improvised verses and I seem to remember there were several others. At the time the last verse struck me as an awfully abrupt ending so I had to make another one to wrap it up better... now that I'm not in third grade anymore it seems a bit better but the combination of the music and words seemed at the time that it just needed "more" there.

    ReplyDelete
  11. On top of a mountain all covered in snow
    There is someone
    I shot five minutes ago.
    I shot her with pleasure
    I shot her with pride
    I couldn’t have missed her
    She was forty foot wide
    I went to her funeral
    Her body was laid
    Some people threw flowers
    I threw a grenade.
    Her body went up
    Her body went down
    Some people were laughing
    Some people were sad
    Her mother was crying
    But inside she was glad
    On top of a mountain all covered in grass
    There was a bald eagle who was scratching his….
    Don’t be mistaken
    Don’t be misled
    There sat a bald eagle stratching his head.

    ReplyDelete
  12. On top of old smokey
    all covered with blood
    I shot my poor teacher
    with a 44 slug
    the very next morning
    she wasn't quite dead
    I pulled out my bazooka
    and blew of her head
    I went to her building
    her daughter was home
    so I fucked her all over Rome

    ReplyDelete
  13. on top of spaghetti
    all covered in blood,
    i shot my poor teacher,
    with a 44 slug
    i went to her funeral,
    and then to her grave,
    instead of some flowers,
    i threw a grenade
    she woke up and chased me,
    i thought she was dead,
    so i got my bazooka,
    and blew of her head

    ReplyDelete
  14. On top of Ol' Smokey all bloody and red
    I hit my poor teacher with a sackful of lead.
    I went to her casket, she still wasn't dead,
    so I took my bazooka and blew off her head.
    I went to her funeral, I went to her grave,
    Instead of throwing flowers, I threw a grenade.

    Georgia, early 2000's

    ReplyDelete
  15. on top of old smokey all covered in blood
    there was an apche face down in the mud
    a knife in his belly an axe in his head
    i took it for granted the apache was dead

    on top of old smokey all covered in grass
    there was a bald eagle scratching his...
    don't be mistaken, don't be mislead
    for the bald eagle was scratching his head

    in the boy scouts, uk in the early 90's

    (as well as the red rubber band one about the teacher)

    ReplyDelete
  16. Made this up my self on 10/23/2011

    on top of the mountain,
    all covered in blood,
    i killed a black Nigger,
    with my 44 slug
    i went to his funeral,
    and pissed on his grave,
    instead of some flowers,
    i threw a grenade
    he woke up and chased me,
    i thought he was dead,
    so i got my bazooka, and blew of his head,
    he rolled down the mountain,
    and into a ditch
    and right there he told me
    you son of a *****

    ReplyDelete
  17. I learned this one:

    On top of old Smokey
    all covered with sand
    I shot Dear Old Barney
    with a red rubber band.

    When I got to the bottom
    he wasn't quite dead
    so I took a bazooka
    and I blew off his head.

    I went to his funeral
    I peed on his grave
    some people threw flowers
    I threw a grenade.

    It blew up the city
    it blew up the town
    it blew Dear Old Barney
    right out of the ground.

    Cincinnati, OH, 2010

    ReplyDelete
  18. On top of old Smokey
    All covered in Blood
    I shot my poor teacher
    with a forty foot slug

    I went to her funeral
    I went to her grave
    some people threw flowers
    I threw a gernade

    I went to her coffin
    she still wasn't dead
    so I took a bazooka
    and blew off her head

    [Blue Springs, MO - mid to late 80's]

    we then continued to make up lines about still not being dead yet - for example...

    But she still wasn't dead yet
    so I got out my sword
    I sliced off her panties
    And nailed it to a board.

    But she still wasn't dead yet
    so I got in my Ford
    I drove that poor pickup
    right up her rear drawers

    But she still wasn't dead yet
    so I got in my Jet
    I shot the machine guns
    until nothing was left

    But she still wasn't dead yet
    so I got out my flame thrower
    I started laying Napalm
    and blew up that whore

    ...

    ReplyDelete
  19. A minor varient from Feilding, New Zealand, around 1979

    On top of Old Smokey
    All covered with blood
    I shot my 'poor' teacher
    with a 40-foot slug

    I shot her with pleasure
    I shot her with pride
    I did it quite easily
    She's forty feet wide

    I went to her funeral
    I spat on her grave
    Some people threw flowers
    I threw a grenade

    ReplyDelete
  20. On Top of Old Smokey
    all covered in blood
    I found my true lover
    her face in the mud

    A knife in her stomach
    an axe in her head
    I got the impression
    My true love was dead

    ReplyDelete
  21. This was sung in Ontario, Canada, 2011 by me and my 7th-Grade friends:
    On top of spaghetti(I know it makes no sense)
    All covered in blood
    I massacred Barney
    With a .42 stud
    I went to his funeral
    I went to his grave
    Some people threw flowers
    I threw a grenade
    I looked in the casket
    He wasn't quite dead
    So I swiped a bazooka
    And blew off his head
    He rolled down the hillside
    And into a ditch
    His very last words were
    "You son of a ***!"

    ReplyDelete
  22. on top of old smokey all covered with blood i shot my dear sister with a 44:slug i went to her funeral i went to her grave Some people threw flowers
    I threw a grenade the cops came to get me and throw me in jail i got my bazooka and sent them all to hell

    ReplyDelete
  23. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  24. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  25. on top of the school bus
    all covered in blood
    i shoot barny
    with a 44 slug
    i went his funarul
    i went to his grave
    evrybody throw flowers i throw a grenade
    i shoot him with pleasure
    i shoot him with pride
    50 years later
    he didnt look quit dead
    i took my bouzuca shoot his head
    there is no more barney for another year

    ReplyDelete
  26. top of ol smokey all covered in blood i shot that fat barny with a valcan minigun i read in the newspaper that he was not dead i went to his grave site and blew off his head i went to his funeral i went to his grave some people threw flowers while i threw granades

    ReplyDelete
  27. For what it's worth, "on top of spaghetti' was a novelty song by Tom Glazer in the 1960's. The variations, however, are (as best I can tell) playground variations.

    The version I grew up with (Ventura, CA: late 70's early 80's' was as follows:

    On top of old smokey,
    All covered with sand
    I shot my poor teacher,
    with a red rubber band.

    I went to her funeral.
    I went to her grave.
    Instead of dropping flowers.
    I threw a hand grenade.

    ReplyDelete
  28. I had no idea that anyone named Mr. Glazer published it in 1963, because I clearly remember singing it before that. So maybe his particular version, with the rimes of "bush" with "mush," came out in 1963, but our version was not that tame
    .
    The first two verses seem standard "on top of spaghetti. . . rolled out the door." What I am struggling with is the version of what happened to the meatball that we would sing, but the last line was always "and I honor my meatball on Memorial Day."

    ReplyDelete
  29. Hilarious. All of them! This is the version we sang in school:

    On top of Ol' Smokey,
    all covered in sand
    I shot my poor teacher
    with a red rubber band.

    I did it with pleasure,
    I did it with pride.
    I couldn't have missed her;
    she was forty feet wide.

    I went to her funeral;
    I went to her grave.
    Everyone threw flowers;
    I threw a grenade.

    The police came and got me
    and threw me in jail.
    I got a machine gun,
    and blew them to hell.

    ReplyDelete
  30. on top of a school bus
    all covered in sand
    i shot poor barney
    with a red rubber band
    i shot him with courage
    i shot him with pride
    i shot poor barney
    right in his left eye
    i went to his funeral
    i went to his grave
    i didn't bring flowers
    i bought a grenade
    i blew up the city
    i blew up the town
    i blew up poor barney
    right out of the ground

    ReplyDelete
  31. On top of Old Smokey
    All covered with blood
    I shot my 'poor' teacher
    with a 40-foot slug

    I went to her funeral
    I spat on her grave
    Some people threw flowers
    I threw a grenade

    She chased me through heaven
    She chased me through hell
    Then i saw the devil and shot him aswell

    ReplyDelete
  32. On top of Old Smokey
    All covered with blood
    I shot my 'poor' teacher
    with a 40-foot slug

    I went to her funeral
    I spat on her grave
    Some people threw flowers
    I threw a grenade

    I opened her coffin
    she still wasn't dead
    so i took a boozka
    and blew off the head

    She chased me through heaven
    She chased me through hell
    Then i saw the devil and shot him aswell

    ReplyDelete
  33. Auckland, New Zealand... circa 1982

    On top of old Smokey
    All covered in sand
    I shot my poor teacher
    With a red rubber band

    I shot her with pleasure
    I shot her with pride
    I couldn't have missed her
    She was forty feet wide

    I went to her funeral
    It was a parade
    When everyone threw flowers
    I threw a grenade

    I saw her go to Pluto
    I saw her go to Mars
    She's still got that old habit
    Of smoking cigars

    ReplyDelete
  34. After seeing all the other variations, I have come to the conclusion that the version I heard in California, late 1960s is also a schoolyard fabrication. I still don't see any other posts with the lyrics I remember hearing and always thought were original which are:

    On top of Old Smokey, all covered in snow,
    I lost my poor sweet heart, in 40 below...

    ReplyDelete
  35. New Zealand, early 1980's

    On top of old smokey
    All covered in cheese
    I shot my poor teacher
    With a red rubberband

    I couldnt've missed her
    She was 40 foot wide
    I shot her with pleasure
    I shot her with pride

    I went to her funeral
    I went to her grave
    Some people threw flowers
    I threw a grenade

    Her body went up
    Her body went down
    Her body went splat
    All over the ground

    ReplyDelete
  36. Australia, early '70s:
    On top of Old Smokey,
    all covered in blood,
    I saw my teacher
    stuck in the mud.

    A knife in her stomach,
    an axe in her head,
    I came to the conclusion
    my teacher was dead.

    I didn't go to her funeral,
    I didn't go to her grave,
    I didn't give her any flowers,
    just an old hand grenade.

    ReplyDelete
  37. On top of old Smokey
    All covered with sand
    I shot my poor teacher
    With a green rubberband.

    I shot her with pleasure
    I shot her with pride
    I couldn't have missed her
    She was 40 feet wide

    Then all of a sudden
    I heard a kaboom
    And my poor teacher
    Was all over the room

    Her head in the trash can
    Her ear in the fan
    But there was no sign
    Of my green rubber band.

    Oklahome late 70's / early 80's

    ReplyDelete
  38. On top of Mount Diablo all covered in blood
    I shot poor Elmo with a machine gun
    I went to his funeral, I went to his grave.
    Some people threw flowers, I threw a grenade.
    It blew up the city it blew up the town.
    It blew poor Elmo right out of the ground.
    In 1,000,000 years later, he ruled the grave. So I blew off his head with a big laser bergade.

    ReplyDelete
  39. 1997 England, London age 10

    I climbed up a mountain
    I climbed up a tree
    I saw John major
    And blew off his knees

    I went to his funeral
    I went to his grave
    The others threw flowers
    I threw a grenade

    it blew up the city
    It blew up the town
    It blew John major
    Right out of the ground

    20 years later
    He still wasn't dead
    So I got a bazooka
    And blew off his head

    ReplyDelete
  40. On top of a mountain
    All covered with blood,
    I shot my friend Barney
    With my 44 slug.

    I heard in the news one day
    That he wasnt quite dead,
    So I bought a bazooka
    And blew off his head

    I went to his funeral
    And drank lemonade
    I saw people throw flowers
    So I threw a grenade.

    He came back to haunt me
    In my house every night
    So I killed myself also
    And went into the light.

    But then I remembered
    I murdered Barney
    So I was put in a hell that
    Was made just for me.

    ReplyDelete
  41. On top of old smokey
    All covered with lead
    I shot my old teacher
    And blew off her head

    It rolled down the mountain
    And into a ditch
    I shot my old teacher
    Cause she was a bitch

    NY, 1990's

    ReplyDelete
  42. I think this is the best version:

    On top of a mountain
    All covered with sand
    I shot (name of someone you hate)
    With a big rubber band.

    I shot it with courage
    I shot it with pride
    How could I miss him?
    He was 50 feet wide.

    I went to his funeral
    I went to his grave
    Some people threw flowers
    I threw a grenade.

    50 years later
    He rose from the dead
    I got my bazooka
    And shot off his head.

    It rolled down the highway
    And into the sea
    The sharks were happy
    And they drank (name) tea!

    ReplyDelete
  43. Oh, I'm sorry. I forgot to say where I heard it. This goes with the previous post (the one that says "I think this is the best version)

    New Jersey, mid 2000s

    ReplyDelete
  44. This is one I made up, it's based of real events and is about my brother's cub scout leader. Just as a note 'Mount Fuji' is a mountain in Japan and a 'Fuji stick' is just a basically a walking stick that you can get at mount Fuji.

    On top of Mount Fuji,
    all covered in fog,
    My scout leader broke his poor fuji stick
    On a big old log
    he did a ninja move
    it was really cool
    but when he was finished
    he felt like a fool
    he had broken his fuji stick
    as broken could be
    he had broken his fuji stick
    so sad was he
    so if you have fuji sticks
    that you love so dear
    hold on to them tightly
    when Mathew comes near

    ReplyDelete
  45. Hello, this is fastidious post I actually loved reading this.
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    ReplyDelete
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    ReplyDelete
  47. The one I would sing is:
    On top of old smokey
    sat (name) and me
    I got my bazooka
    and shot off his/her knee
    we went to the doctor
    he said he/she wasn't dead
    so I got my bazooka
    and shot off his/her head
    I went to his/her funeral
    I went to his/her grave
    some people threw flowers
    I threw a grenade

    ReplyDelete
  48. On top is a school bus
    All covered in cheese
    I shot my poor teacher
    Between the knees

    My teacher went up
    Up up up up
    My teacher send down
    Down Dow down down
    My teacher went splat
    All over the ground

    I went to her funeral
    I went to her grave
    People threw flowers
    I threw a grenade

    My teacher went up
    Up up up up
    My teacher send down
    Down Dow down down
    My teacher went splat
    All over the ground

    ReplyDelete
  49. England/Great Britain, at least since late 90s

    On top of Ol' Smokey
    All covered in soot
    There was a bald eagle
    He was scratching his foot.

    On top of Ol' Smokey
    All covered in grass
    That same bald eagle
    Was scratching his --

    Oh no don't get excited
    Now don't be misled
    Because that bald eagle
    Was scratching his head.

    Might be a mockery of America, I don't know. It's been around at least as long as I'm alive (I'm 15).

    ReplyDelete
  50. I always sung
    On top of a mountain, all covered in blood
    I shot my poor barney, with 62 guns
    I went to his funeral, I went to his grave
    Some people threw flowers
    I threw a grenade
    All demented and scary
    he rose from the dead
    so i blew his dang head off
    with big rpgs

    ReplyDelete
  51. on top of the school bus,
    all covered with blood,
    I shot my friend Barney,
    with 500 guns.

    I went to his funereal,
    I went to his grave,
    some people threw flowers,
    I threw a grenade,

    I dug out his coffin,
    right out of the ground,
    I opened his coffin,
    and here's what I found,

    My old friend Barney,
    wasn't quite dead,
    so I took my bazooka,
    and shot off his head,

    it rolled down a mountain,
    and into a ditch,
    and right there he said to me,
    you son of a *****


    I am in 6th grade and here is the Colorado version.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Somehow I missed the "kill teacher" version of this one, just the meatball.

    On top of spaghetti all covered with cheese
    I lost my poor meatball when somebody sneezed

    It rolled off the table and onto the floor
    and then my poor meatball it rolled out the door

    It rolled cross the sidewalk and under a bush
    and then my poor meatball was nothing but moosh

    The moosh was as tasty as tasty could be
    and then my poor meatball turned into a tree

    ReplyDelete
  53. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  54. On top of old smokey
    All covered with sand
    I shot my poor teacher
    With a big rubber band

    I shot her with pleasure
    I shot her with pride
    I couldn't have missed her
    She was 40 feet wide

    I went to her funeral
    I wept at her grave
    Some people threw flowers
    I threw a grenade

    I opened her coffin
    She wasn't quite dead
    So I took out a bazooka
    And blew off her head

    ReplyDelete
  55. The ending I remember is:
    The girls threw flower
    The boys threw grenades

    ReplyDelete
  56. On top of the school bus,
    Covered in cheese,
    I shot Barney,
    With an M16,
    I went to the graveyard,
    To spit on his grave,
    They're throwing flowers,
    I'm throwing grenades,
    Six years later,
    He came back to life,
    So I stabbed him,
    In the face with my knife.

    October 2014

    ReplyDelete
  57. I enjoyed your entries on Toxic Words - such great thoughts and a wonderful reminder to watch the words I use - to be positive and kind and use words to build up rather than tear down. :)

    ReplyDelete

PLEASE tell us where and when you heard your version (ie, "Chicago, early 1950s). And please be aware that the information may end up in a book sooner or later.